I've always been fascinated with werewolves -- probably because I have a thick layer of back hair:
Anyway, I think my fascination with werewolves started with the classic 1941 Wolf Man movie. I was probably about five-years-old when I saw it for the first time :
Now that I’m a grown up in my thirties, I think the Wolf Man is a pretty silly looking monster...
I mean, come on. With that coiffed hair, stylish dress shirt, and open chest, he could be Ted Danson from Cheers:
But back then, the sight of Lon Chaney, Jr. in full Wolf Man make-up scared the shit outta me. As a little kid, there was just something cool and horrifying about a man -- who is pure in heart, no less -- transforming into a bloodthirsty, man-eating wolf whenever the moon is out. And after watching the Wolf Man for the first time, I became a life long werewolf fan.
I also love the Howling:
An American Werewolf in London:
And a low budget Stephen King crapper called Silver Bullet, starring Gary Busey:
In that movie, Gary Busey plays a drunk, womanizing uncle who helps his crippled nephew kill the local Priest who also happens to be the town werewolf.
Years later, I was invited to the premiere of a John Cusack movie called Identity and I actually got to meet Gary Busey who also attended the after party. Obviously, I told him that my favorite Gary Busey movie was Silver Bullet, and despite a massive head injury and years of drug and alcohol abuse, he still couldn’t fathom why on earth I liked that shit flick.
But anyway, as creepy, or cool, or funny, or basketball-driven as those other werewolf movies are, none of them came close to scaring me as much as when I was a five-year-old kid watching the original Wolf Man. Well, I was also afraid of watching the Michael Jackson Thriller music video -- but that's more because I was always afraid of Michael Jackson.
But because of my love for werewolf movies, I was naturally excited when I heard that Benicio Del Toro was starring in a remake of the Wolfman:
I wanted to see this movie on opening night, but there’s one thing that prevented me from seeing it -- the fact that my girlfriend refuses to watch scary movies with me. It’s horrible because if I want to watch something scary, I have to TiVo it and then get up at 7:00 am on Saturday morning and watch it before she wakes up.
But I finally got to see the Wolfman last night because my girlfriend was working late on this popular reality show about fat people who lose weight. And since she wasn’t going to be coming home until after midnight, I used it as an opportunity to watch my favorite movie monster in action.
In addition to Benicio Del Toro, this version also stars Anthony Hopkins. But despite the performances of two Academy Award winning actors, this movie is continually getting kicked in the nuts by the critics. And if that wasn’t bad enough, it’s currently scoring like 32% on Rotten Tomatoes.
And sure, I can’t lie -- there were like six or seven plot holes. And you know, the characters’ motivation weren’t always clear. And a couple times I even found myself saying, “that’s stupid…”
If you wanna read more of my in depth, spoiler-filled Wolfman review, highlight the open area below:
Just kidding. I hate spoiler alerts.
But despite all the negative press, I gotta tell ya, I actually loved the movie. And I loved it because it scared the shit outta me. Again.
I’m not lying. The whole time I was sitting in the theater by myself, I actually believed that there was a real possibility that I could be attacked by the Wolfman at any minute. Later when I got home, I even thought a Wolfman was gonna lop my arm off with its claws as I reached out of my car to punch in my apartment’s security code. And I was so scared that I didn’t even go outside to escort my girlfriend from her car to our apartment when she returned home from work at 1:45 in the morning. Now this may all have been because I smoked three bowls before going inside the theater, but fuck that shit. I’m not setting myself up for a possible Wolfman attack. My girlfriend can fend her herself after dark.
I’m sorry, but the Wolfman had that kind of an effect on me. First of all, the whole movie is insanely gory and the Wolfman was just ridiculously vicious. And it was cool how the Wolfman could run on two legs or hop down on all four to gain speed. And even though I could see a Wolfman sneak attack coming from a mile away, I was so afraid for his victims that I actually wanted to close my eyes at several times throughout the movie. The experience transformed me into a five-year-old again. And that’s what movies are supposed to do -- make you feel like a kid.
So if you wanna feel like a little kid again, than I suggest you see the Wolfman, too -- not to be confused with Teen Wolf Too:
But until then, here’s a classic scene from Silver Bullet starring Gary Busey and Corey Haim. And FYI -- you just gotta wait 26 seconds for the Busey magic to kick in.